School of Biological Sciences

Pullman Campus Facilities



Charles R. Conner Natural History Museum


The Conner collection dates back almost to the opening of the university as an agricultural college in 1890. The first specimens exhibited in Pullman had originally been exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and over the course of the century many traditional specimens were added to the collection. Presently the entire collection contains more than 65,000 specimens. Visit the Conner Museum site.


Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center

The Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center (FMIC) is a research and educational facility for the imaging and ultrastructural study of biological and non-biological materials. It is a centralized facility available to all WSU researchers and students. The FMIC provides electron microscopy and light microscopy equipment for observation and analysis of a diverse array of specimens. Visit the Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center site.


The Marion Ownbey Herbarium


The Marion Ownbey Herbarium is among the larger herbaria of the Pacific Northwest. The collection consists of nearly 350,000 specimens of vascular and nonvascular plants and lichens. The herbarium includes plants from around the world, although those of the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, and California form the majority of the collection. Visit the Ownbey Herbarium site.


Plant Growth Chamber Facility

Constructed in 1999, the newest of the School of Biological Sciences research space for plant growth is the Plant Growth Chamber facility in the basement of Eastlick Hall (B-97). All chambers are computer controlled and network-connected to a server for the continuous collection of environmental data. This facility consists of 23 plant growth chambers varying in size from 9 square feet to 36 square feet. In addition, there are four 19 cubic foot tissue culture chambers. All chambers are temperature controlled (5-40ºC) and humidity is controlled between ambient and 85%. Light intensity levels can be varied between dark and 1,600 micromoles/m2/s. Two chambers are equipped with capabilities for CO2 enrichment up to 2,000 ppm and elevated UV-B up to 20 times ambient. Automatic irrigation can also be programmed.




The School of Biological Sciences has 3 modern greenhouses: one in Abelson Hall, one in Murrow Hall and a third in the Steffen Center.

The Abelson Hall Greenhouse, completed in 1989, is a 4,000 square foot aluminum and glass rooftop facility occupying the seventh floor and consists of nine independently controlled compartments.

The Murrow Greenhouse, built in the 1920s, is the oldest greenhouse on the WSU Pullman campus. Constructed of steel and glass, it is approximately 1,000 square feet and houses a portion of the permanent botanical teaching collection.

The Steffen Center Greenhouse, built in 1995, is a 3,000 square foot galvanized steel and polycarbonate greenhouse divided into four 750 square foot compartments. This facility is used predominantly for research but is also used for instruction.


Smoot Hill


Smoot Hill is an 800 acre farm, located 12 miles from the Pullman campus. It was purchased by WSU in 1972 for research and educational use and designated as the "Hudson Biological Reserve at Smoot Hill" in recognition of Professor George Hudson's unique and outstanding contributions. Smoot Hill is one of the largest intact remnants of the native Palouse plant community. Its natural diversity and beauty make it popular for ecology and botany field trips.

On-site facilities include lab buildings, barns and an animal barn/kennel. In past years, elk, moose and woodland caribou were kept on site during research projects. Smoot Hill has supported a wide range of research projects including: nutritional studies of moose, population studies of mice and voles, studies of non-native plants, genetics of salamanders, and wind deposition of dust and soil across the Palouse farmlands.

More about Smoot Hill can be found at or by contacting the Director, Professor Eric H. Roalson (; 335-7921).

Stable Isotope Core Laboratory


The mission of the WSU Stable Isotope Core Laboratory is to facilitate research and training for WSU students and faculty.  It consists of four stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers, one quadruple mass spectrometer, and two optical stable isotope devices. The priorities of the facility are 1) provide analyses for WSU faculty and students that are not available elsewhere, 2) promote methods innovation and development to specifically meet the needs of WSU researchers, and 3) enhance research training of graduate and undergraduate students by offering methods and laboratory courses that provide hands-on training in stable isotope methods and analyses and allowing them to analyze their own samples, rather than taking a “black box” approach by submitting samples to other laboratories.

More about the WSU Stable Isotope Core Laboratory can be found at or by email at

School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, PO Box 644236, Pullman WA 99164-4236, 509-335-3553, Contact Us
The SBS main office is located in 312 Abelson Hall on the Pullman campus.